Category Archives: Military

The big match

Yes, most of us can relate to sports, I am all about the biscuit (NHL puck), most are about the balls, some round, some oval, yet in all this we tend to be able to connect to sports, it is almost a global thing. When it is not Chess or Go that is. As such I am keeping an open mind towards the Iran-Saudi Arabia talks. I do hope that Saudi Arabia gets the peace it is entitled to, but personally. In light of all that has transpired, I am not really optimistic that Iran will keep its word, but that is my view of the matter and at present I would be happy to be wrong. 

The first issue
There are a few issues that intertwine and they are not up to Saudi Arabia, the first player is Hezbollah who has been accused a few times to give support to Houthi forces after an alleged call from General Qasem Soleimani. There are a few speculations attached to it, yet the larger stage remains. Iran directly and allegedly indirectly via Hezbollah decided to attack the citizens of Saudi Arabia and engage in a long term proxy war. This issue will resolve itself over time, yet for the tool in that conversation (Hezbollah), we might take notice of ‘Stockpiling fuel from Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah braces for state collapse’ (source: The Arab Weekly), with supporting text “The plan chimes with worries in Lebanon that people will have to rely on political factions for food and security, in the way many did in the militia days of the 1975-1990 civil war. In response to a question about Hezbollah’s plans, Leila Hatoum, an adviser to the caretaker prime minister, said the country was “in no condition to refuse aid” regardless of politics.The sources from the pro-Hezbollah camp, who declined to be named, said the plan for a potential worst-case scenario has gathered pace as an end to subsidies looms in the coming months, raising the spectre of hunger and unrest”, a stage that has one side, yet when Iran has to collapse its assistance, the stage there changes, Hezbollah will no longer be regarded as a local asset, it will be regarded as a larger national liability and that is not a good place for Hezbollah to be in. It is a win-win for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, if this part is not met, Iran will show itself to be a non-peace driven party to the world. If it does, support in Yemen toward the houthi forces becomes a non option quite soon. 

The second issue
The second player in all this is Turkey, it has sided with Iran too often and they are seeing the larger impact, so I was not surprised to see the Middle East Eye give us ‘Turkey’s foreign minister to visit Saudi Arabia, a first in four years’, it is a personal view, but I reckon that they want to get ahead of the curve, kicking the one player that is vocation stability is not a good thing and the larger stage as well as the blatant openly inaccuracies and pushed mis representations regarding a journalist no one cares about (Jamal Khashoggi) will be the larger noose they need to avoid. We might think that there is a focus around “Cavusoglu is expected to make attempts to repair bilateral ties during the visit, but the closure of Turkish schools will be a top issue, sources told MEE. Last week, Turkey’s education ministry said it has been informed by the Saudi authorities that the eight schools, which have a total of 2,256 pupils, will have to close at the end of the current school year. Last month, the education ministry said there were 26 Turkish schools in Saudi Arabia”, yet I believe that this is a ruse. This minister will have some form of apology package with all kinds of considerations. Turkey has no choice, their crypto currency collapse (Thodex and Vebitcoin) with bosses running for the hills (at least one with $2,000,000,000 plus in its USB pockets) and the people angry with losing all they have is the larger setting for civic unrest to a scale they never faced before and that requires all kinds of sides to reduce pressure wherever they can and both Turkey and Iran are happy to let Hezbollah drown on its own. Yes, this is my speculation, but if you followed the news in the last two years, you would end up having similar thoughts.

The third issue
The third issue is Yemen, there is no way around it and these two players are on opposite sides. Even as the media has avoided to a larger extent to show and to report on the unacceptable acts by Houthi forces, the UN who was the target on several occasions has not and that is where Iran find itself at a much larger disadvantage. They might have options if General Qasem Soleimani had been around the last 6 months, but someone solved that problem for many and now the less experienced players have painted themselves in corners and that works to the advantage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well. It is more against Iran but that might be mere semantics. Here we see France24 giving us (at https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210506-saudi-walks-diplomatic-high-wire-on-iran-yemen) “Saudi Arabia’s secret talks with arch-rival Iran signal a high-wire diplomatic act as it scrambles to rein in Tehran-backed Yemeni rebels”, as I see it, if Iran wants clear resolutions of the outstanding issues in play they would have to back down to a larger extent, optionally an openly extent to denounce the Houthi forces, but that would be an unrealistic expectation. And I do not disagree when we see “The Houthis would prefer to be their own interlocutor with Saudi Arabia and will not want Iran taking their place in that,” Elana DeLozier, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told AFP”, Elana DeLozier, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has a clear point there, but these forces will not get too much of an option when Iran walks out, when that happens before the Houthis get any talks going they might end up being on their own and that pretty much ends the Houthi options in Yemen as I see it. As such the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a lot to gain, and with Iran being on everyone’s display they have a larger chance of getting a lot done.

In all this the stage will soon change and I reckon that there was a reason that Mevlut Cavusoglu (Turkish Foreign minister) used the Schools as a reason, The Arab Weekly gives us ‘May 20 deadline to register for Ithra conference in Saudi Arabia’s Dhahran’, which is seemingly also a beautiful place to be and get some informal settings, especially as it is away from Riyadh and has the nice extra to be a setting where the Turkish schools can be discussed openly and optionally talk about a few more issues less openly. As such, If I am correct a few larger issues will be on someone’s table in August so that they might be discussed in September. I reckon that this is the time that both Hezbollah and Houthi forces have left. In 8-12 weeks Turkey might need to get baubles for Euros to avoid a much larger negative national setting and I reckon they are willing to sell a few issues down the river for their own good. It is a personal speculated vision, but I feel that I might be onto something here, Iran will try to avoid making quick decisions, which makes perfect sense, so Turkey needs to get ahead of ending up being the piggy in the middle chasing after the ball and the goods. If Iran gives in too soon Turkey will end up holding the bag and in either scenario Hezbollah will merely forfeit whatever it thought it had in the first place, and there ‘thought they had’ was the operative part in all this and the Houthi forces merely lose. Optionally they will lose twice, because they made enemies of the local population all over the place as well and without Iranian funding these people will be running for the hills all whilst they know that everyone in Yemen will be out to get them. 

Game, set and match for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which comes with a dose of highly needed stability as well. And Iran? That leaves us out in the open, the people might accept a few parts, but the Nuclear deals are still there and Iran is delusional to think that Saudi Arabia (or Israel for that matter) will allow them to continue on the nuclear path they are.

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The French way

We all accept it, but at times we are blind to the setting. The French do things different, it is as basic as rain is wet. There are parts I do not agree with. French secularism is deeply overboard. We get it, there is history there. Hugh Jackman sang about it in the Incredibles 2 (the miserables). Centuries of deep cultural impact is not wiped away and I believe that is not needed. Yet the BBC gives us ‘Anger as ex-generals warn of civil war in France’. The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56899765) also gives us “Two immutable principles guide the action of members of the military with regard to politics: neutrality and loyalty,” tweeted the minister in charge of the armed forces, Florence Parly”, yet the power players are forgetting that there is a problem and the military are not willing to stand by, you see these same power players will use the military as canon fodder just for them to look good, and which soldier ever signed up for the function of ‘cannon fodder’? France faced the Hedbo event, the November 2015 Paris attacks, and now ‘Killer of French Police Officer Was a Radicalised Islamist, Prosecutor Says’ (source: New York Times). There we see “The attacker watched videos ‘glorifying martyrs and jihad’ immediately before the stabbing, the official said”. France has a problem, one from the past (secularism) one from the present (political indifference and pussyfooting around the issues that are too serious). It results in a military system that is not willing to see their country to go to waste and in all this they are getting political support from Marine Le Pen. The situation for Emmanuel Macron is turning from not so good to deeply dire in in swipe and the political grounds are shifting. So as other newspapers give us “French President Emmanuel Macron’s government reacted furiously to an open letter from 20 retired generals warning of a possible military takeover and bloody civil war in response to what they characterised as the disintegration of a country under Islamist extremism”, you see we tend to wipe aside the soldiers complaining, because the political power players will make claims like ‘You do not understand this, or my favourite ‘This is a complex situations and we are walking the best path as the party sees it’, yet a general, or 20 generals in this case is a different matter, generals know what goes on in their nation and 20 of them is a powerful voice and now the dire part starts making sense. You see some will adhere to government created flames regarding ‘discrimination’, yet when we see “Members of the French military, whether actively serving or reservists, are forbidden from expressing public opinions on religion and politics, and Ms Parly has called for those who signed the letter to be punished” and we realise that these 20 are retired, we see a military consensus and that is bad breakfast, which will be followed by lamebrain lunch and dreaded diner. I am not judging the military, a consensus of 20 retired generals is a big thing. So when we get back to ‘Ms Parly has called for those who signed the letter to be punished’, Ms Parly needs to realise that the matter is a lot larger than she is making it out to be. The stabbed police officer might also draw in the police services, even as they will not openly revolt, they are in a stage where they feel that the present French government is no longer to be trusted. It opens all kinds of avenues for Marine Le Pen and in a setting that she did not have before, the larger parts of the police and military on HER side, how many votes is that? Do you think that these 20 generals stay quiet? That is 370,000 military votes, optionally taking family and friends with them and Emmanuel Macron was not in a safe political position in the first place. As such, when the police joins that group his retirement from the Élysée Palace will be close to certain.

So how will this end?
That is unclear. Ever since 1961 (Algiers) when President de Gaulle faced a coup d’état. It failed but that was 60 years ago, now it is not a civil war, 20 retired generals will have the ability to change the minds of millions of French people, which will start to favour the path of Marine Le Pen. From my point of view, the stage of secularism and islamic insults due to secularism is a stage that cannot be won, France will have to make choices and none of the paths are nice to observe, but is there an alternative? Emmanuel Macron will have to make choices and having a serious conversation with these retired generals might be the path of least resistance for now. head banging would result in Marine Le Pen becoming President of France and I am decently certain (roughly  99.54476%) that the path trodden then will be a lot less enjoyable. 

Can it be avoided?
I am not sure if this is possible, the power players sat on their hands for too long, the fact that 20 retired generals in a stage where they embraced neutrality and loyalty their entire life is not to be underestimated. How much did this political group let things waiver? That is the question, and it is not about 1 or 2 generals that have issues, 20 of them have issues and that is a group that represented the French defence forces for well over a decade, that matters, these people know things, they see things and they are objecting. Something that has not happened in 60 years and as I see it Florence Parly and Emmanuel Macron need to take this seriously, as I see it that signal is a sign that time has run out. As I see it having immediate consults with Directeur-Général Général d’Armée Christian Rodriguez (CEO of the French Gendarmerie) might be a first step, optionally seeing if he might be able to start a conversation with the 20 members. If the military in France is in distrust of politicians to the degree that this globally plays (exception Myanmar), it might be one of the few steps he has left, but at this point neither of these two can afford to sit on their hands. And the claim by Florence Parly to “those who signed the letter to be punished”, she could better forget about that part. If this goes any further she will have a mere one year until she is out of a job and you better believe that there is no place for her in a Le Pen cabinet. 

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Hubris versus Practical limitations

This is not unknown to us, the ego versus reality. We saw it in the US (the age of Trumpism) on how anti Chinese events were hitting Huawei. I have forever opposed that. Huawei is one of the really few true innovative companies and as such they pretty much owned the market. I have never weight to any accusation of Huawei is taking orders from the Chinese government, because all these wannabe makers could not present evidence, and are we not a population of evidence? There had been 1-2 claims that were decently made, but for the most it was a joke. Yet today the BBC gave us (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56851558) ‘GCHQ chief warns of tech ‘moment of reckoning’’ which is a different setting. Here we see “Jeremy Fleming said there was a risk that key technologies on which we rely will no longer be shaped by the West. “We have to keep evolving our approach if we’re going to keep up,” he said of the growing challenge from China”, here I agree. There is a harder need to evolve matters, but that issue needed to be given to the larger players in 2018 when they decided to sit back, relax and watch their bank account fatten overnight. That play was a bad one and governments had to step in years ago to make it happen, as such the next 3 years will be about catching up. British Telecom, Telstra, KPN, they all hd the same flaw and they pretty much all were sitting back and let third party evolution decide the future. It is a choice, but that old story of ‘when you hand over the reigns you lose control of direction’ was too easily forgotten. So when we see ““The risk, as I see it today, is that we lose control of the standards that shape our technology environment,” he told the BBC. “The things that make sure that our liberal Western democratic views are baked into our technology.”” We see that Jeremy Fleming (fearless leader of GCHQ) is right. A national interest is having national products, I do not disagree there, but the players were lazy. Even now (a short time ago) on November 14th 2020, in the article ‘Tik..Tik..Tik..’ (At https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/11/14/tik-tik-tik/) I gave the quote “as Gerhard Schindler (no relation to Oskar) is giving us ‘its technology is now so advanced that Germany cannot tell if it is being used for sinister purpose’, we see the first truth, technology in the EU (and the US) is massively behind Huawei and Chinese IP as well”, this was Gerhard Schindler, former President of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the German Federal Intelligence Service. If they are technological in the dark, how bad did it get? 

So, I am on Jeremy’s side when it comes to the fact that such technology needs to be in national hands, I never opposed that, but the next three years we are all blatantly behind and we either buy the current IP from Huawei, or we accept them, or we lose the 5G war right here and right now. Even as the US is screaming alternatives (Nokia among them) and we see a months ago (source: the Guardian) that ‘Nokia to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide to bankroll new 5G drive, we should wonder (with stress) just how far they got behind on the other players. That is seen in the quote “The Finnish telecommunications company Nokia has unveiled plans to cut up to 10,000 jobs worldwide in the next two years, and wants to use the savings to catch up with rivals on 5G technologies”, so how can the UK (Australia and Canada too) expect to get ahead of Huawei in the near future? Lets not forget that the denial of existence in the EU, Commonwealth and the US of Huawei technology implies that Chinese companies will have a massive leg up winning the 5G race and as such the larger stage of the IoT will be in THEIR hands, there is no other way to see it at present. Then we get a part that is important, and partially surprising. “Mr Fleming said it was vital to ensure all the technologies were not from one place and to understand how data was being processed. There were only a relatively small number of areas where the UK would need to completely control a technology, he said, and more broadly working with allies would be essential to shape international standards and to defend itself in cyberspace. At home, the UK has to invest in skills and innovation.” In this I agree with all part, the surprising part is ‘the UK has to invest in skills and innovation’, in this the surprising part is that this cannot be done overnight, it is the recognition that skills and innovations towards 5G are 2 years away, close to my predictions a year ago, so nice for GCHQ to catch up on this. All whilst we see overly clever puzzles all over the place, the setting of skills go further than that. My previous article involving ONT gives rise to a developing need and there is nothing at present, the evolving need for digital forensics is blatantly yesterday’s approach and they will need people thinking in other area’s as well. The digital future is not where they expect it to be, they need to consider that it is in directions that aren’t even considered today. Even now as they are contemplating the need of where organised crime will be, the setting is not dissimilar from disorganised corporate crimes and most haven’t even worked out that part, it is a large amount of billions a year, but they are still pondering what is important. When you ponder that for 3-5 years, we tend to call it sitting on your hands. It is a close relative of ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ (AKA waitstate). And when was the last time that this worked? You can initiate actions on the spot when it is football, but not when billions in costs are found that does not hit the revenue of the media, UEFA, or FIFA? How is that even possible?

We all understand practical limitations, yet innovation is found in directions where limitations were evident. Consider asking Wilbur Wright, Igor Sikorsky or Jacques Cousteau that question. Even with the limitations (practical or not) we got the plane, the helicopter and the aqua-lung. Can you even imagine this world without any of these three? And even as the west used to be the rulers of technology, China and South Korea have the bulk of all patents in that regard today, as such it will be extremely expensive, or we need to work with a different set of rules. Nothing else will quite serve national interests, wherever that is. And consider that I came up with two weapon based IP’s in a matter of days (a few months ago), one was a novel way in making a nuclear reactor meltdown, as such, we need to consider looking in other directions for the ideas that truly innovate the future (I used a posh snow-globe for one of them) and in the process came up with two new valve systems, not bad for a simple IT support guy. Even as the article ends strong with “The UK should not be “fatalistic”, he said, and had a “very strong track record” of meeting technology challenges”, the failure here is that the decision makers tend to have a ‘what can I get out of this’ approach, and when did THAT ever lead to innovation? It merely created a setting of distrust and a group of people who sat on ideas instead of pushing that idea in a group that truly pushed innovation, not a group that grabs the idea and transforms it into a partial iterative idea for long term gains. That is what is killing nearly all innovation, especially the innovation we need now, it is the only way to get ahead of what is now, we need to create what will make it tomorrow and that comes with flaws and failures, there is no other way, but in that setting people did come up with the true innovations, not unlike the Montgolfier brothers in 1783. It took 8 years to get ready and even as we dreamed of flight for many centuries that was the moment reality stepped in. It would take 120 years for the Wright brothers to take it into a new direction, now we become the watchers as Huawei is leading the 5G race, the others are all eager to catch up, but some have to let go of 10,000 employees to fund the events. So how long will be be the spectators instead of the actual pushers? I will let you decide, yet in this, the larger problem is another unmentioned one, there is a ring of decision makers who want to be ‘included’ in whatever comes next and that is stopping way too much. The era of those joining DARPA leading the fight of innovation is nearly over, you remember that group of nerds? They invented the internet, you might have head of that.

It is all part of one currency, hubris and practical limitations, but we need to see through both to understand where progress is possible and seeing through practical limitations is hard, I know that, I understand that. I wonder if Jeremy Fleming does. 

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The knife to use

The stage is not a real one, the stage is a speculative one, one for the silver screen no less, optionally what some used to call the boob-tube, no matter where it goes, perhaps it goes nowhere, it does not matter, it served the purpose for those it was meant to be, and they now know that I knew, so we leave that up to the historians to consider. There is a man, he walks with his little boy, they are on route to some event, we only know that the event was on military grounds. They go through the gateway, we see all the scanners working, but they set off nothing. This was how it was supposed to be, in the mean time the crowds gather more and more. And as the to had walked for about half an hour, they were closer to the airfield. The man asked if the little  prince wanted an ice-cream, the first show is almost an hour away, the boy smiled and nodded. He bought a large cone and made sure that thy were sitting next to a couple of ladies. “Excuse me ladies, I really have to go to the bathroom, can you look after my little prince for a couple of minutes?”, they all nodded and he told his prince that he was off to the bathroom and that he would be back soon, and told him to just enjoy his ice-cream and the ladies would look after him whilst he was away. He walked quickly in the directions of the toilet signs, but the moment he turned a corner, he repositioned his gaze to the floor-plan in his mind, he quickly passed two buildings and entered a third one. He snuck up to the second floor and past a few doors, there as the door he needed to be. He got a knife out of his pocket, one made from rubber, one that would not set off any detectors. He ripped of a slither of the spine, it showed a piece of plastic, almost like the tape of a cassette, only ten times stronger and sharp as a razor. He carefully entered, there was no one, he quickly looked though the desk, and found what he was looking for. The paper were exchanged and then he heard the footsteps down the hall, exactly like anticipated. He had left the door ajar for that reason, he hid behind the desk and waited for the person to come inside. “Hello? Anyone here?”, the man seemingly looked in the office but did not go all the way. As he turned around the man stood up and moved swiftly, he sliced the neck artery and pushed him to the floor hard, the blood never reached his side and he quickly departed. Walked back and into the first bathroom he saw. He dropped the knife in the toilet and added the chemicals from a hip flask. The knife dissolved almost immediately, he flushed and left the toilet, he went back to his little prince, he hd been gone less than 15 minutes. He shrugged at the ladies “Sorry there was a queue”, he looked at his prince, his alibi. Wanna see the planes now? The boy nodded and they left both holding a new fresh ice cream. 

This is as far as the story goes, but consider that some weapons can never be retrieved, some investigations are closed because they were politically inconvenient and for the most the players deal in pieces of paper that they often do not completely understand, they are attracted to the number on that piece of paper (most often with a $ sign). So as we see the truths of political inconvenience, how long until we are told that sources are not as reliable as some stated they would be and in all this we see a continuing wave of people filling their pocket, so where does that leave the people who do not get a voice or a vote in the setting? As such how much faith can we have in the statement ‘China-Iran 25-year deal not aimed at any country: Iranian envoy’, or perhaps ‘Iran admits saboteur derailed nuclear program and escaped scot free’, so as such should we give value to ““There is no credible explanation or civilian justification for such an action on the side of Iran,” Stano said. The narrow scope of the new enrichment provides Iran with a way to quickly de-escalate if it chooses, experts say, but time is narrowing. An Iranian presidential election looms on the horizon as Tehran threatens to limit international inspections. While 60 per cent is higher than any level at which Iran has previously enriched uranium, it is still lower than weapons-grade levels of 90 per cent”? Yes what they are stating is true, yet any dirty bomb is happy to blow on the premise of 60% and that I still a very large danger, the situation is not merely the 60% marker, it becomes a time scale that if that goes correct, how far will 90% be from reality? Th political powers in the US and the EU are sitting on their hands, way too much. So when we are given “European Union spokesman Peter Stano called Iran’s decision “a very worrisome development” we see a quote absent of action. So when they give us “Talks will continue “for a few days and then I think the two most relevant delegations will go back home to receive more precise instructions and then, I don’t know when, we will resume,” the EU official told reporters in a phone briefing”, talks all talks and still no plan, even though Iran has broken pretty much every accord on a whim, that is why they are too dangerous to continue. And when Israel faces that dirty bomb, will we see strong words without action from the EU, they let the Jews be pushed into genocide once, the second time should be easier. The problem is that such a bomb will make most of the Mediterranean countries a danger to live in and for that matter, it will end options for Malta, Cyprus, Crete and a few other places, then the currents take that irradiated dust to Italy, Greece and Turkey to options are gone, Iran will blame some sod in a high place and the EU will smile because they got an Iranian accord, they merely had to be willing to sacrifice a few nations no one cared about. So is this how it is going to be?

A knife does not need to be metal, ceramics or even mistletoe to cut and slice, anything sharp will do and when the right people figure it out it will most likely be too late, the wrong people will relocate to a safe place holding on to riches they were never meant to have, so how many people were investigated, not merely them, but the bank accounts under their mother-in-law maiden name too. I wonder what that will result, if that person was working from the EU, the chances are that it will go nowhere. 

Those who wield a knife in the house of kitchen, they are all aware that the knife is a tool and/or a weapon, but the one element that we tend to forget is that a knife optionally extends the reach of a person, did you consider that? It might not seem much, it might not be much, but at times it is enough.

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When anger wins

We all have that moment, some call it ‘enough is enough’, others refer to ‘the straw that broke the camels back’, we have all kind of expressions, but in reality anger took the forefront of the debate and emotions run high, so whilst we get the view (by Al Jazeera) ‘Houthis say they attacked Aramco, Patriot targets in Saudi Arabia’, all whilst CNN, BBC, and a whole range of sources are quiet, in a stage where we get the news from merely Al Jazeera and Bloomberg. The other players were not that quiet when it concerned a journalist no one cares about, they were all screaming then. So this was my moment of anger, if news has to be filtered to this degree, it is time to set the  premise to a different scope. This first weapon system I designed (to sink the Iranian navy) is now public domain and in the hands of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the next step will be a new weapon that can meltdown the Iranian nuclear reactors. The hack that (allegedly) Mossad did was nice, but soon Iran will figure out how to set the nuclear reactors to closed systems with two separate systems with people at both ends and that ends the hack option, but I am still here, so a weapon (based on a novelty snow globe), should (in theory) create a nice and solemn Chernobyl reactor setting and it should work on most reactors, well at least the Russian reactors. I am nothing if not creative and I personally do not think anyone had considered that approach, so my science teacher in secondary school was right, I will not grow up to be any good, but I was preceded in this by most media and most politicians, so I am apparently in good company if I get to hell. 

At times anger gets to win, there is no other way, it brings to mind an old saying ‘Change is valuable, it lets the oppressed be tyrants’ and most of us have had enough of the current tyrants, even if we live in a golden cage. Yet I see no other option but the make matters worse, perhaps it will wake up the media and as they have to explain the essential need of share holders and stake holders, take notice of ‘their’ essential need. We wanted the news, we wanted all the news, but the share holders and stake holders did not agree, so I decided to pave the way for them to take the front seat in the limelight. It is not subtle, it is not a decent approach, but it was the only one left to me. 

You might oppose and that is fine, but consider all the actions that Iran was behind in the last two years and the amount of actions that somehow never reached many of the western media, now also take into consideration all the transgression Houthi forces did in Yemen, whilst we got one sided news on the actions of Saudi Arabia, how long do we tolerate a corrupt media circus? That is how I see it, filtered news is a form of corruption. I personally see no other way to interpret this.

It is my view and optionally my flaw as well, but as I said, as some point anger takes over and in that stage anything can happen, the media banked on that premise too often, but did they ever consider the fact what happens when that premise goes into another direction?

So, my weekend will be a weird one, but an essential one.

Have a great weekend.

 

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SET trust = 0.

Yup, we all have a stage when there is no trust, there is no confidence and we wonder the why part. In this, I had questions, so I asked the agency, but they did’t know, then I asked the FBI, I asked Langley and I asked Commander Andrew Richardson, they all gave the same story, there is No Such Agency, so I Googled them and Yes! There they were, complete with phone number (+1 301-677-2300) and all, yup, we got them, so now we get to their story (at https://breakingdefense-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/breakingdefense.com/2021/04/nsa-about-to-release-unclassified-5g-security-guidance/amp/).

Via the BBC, we get ‘NSA About To Release Unclassified 5G Security Guidance’ and I started to read, the article makes a lot of sense. Which gave me “Noble’s speech highlighted the importance of zero-trust architecture in 5G networks”, and it got me thinking, the approach makes a lot of sense, just like SE-LINUX, the setting of ‘no-trust’ makes sense, especially in a world where Microsoft keeps on fumbling the ball, not merely their exchange servers, but the (what I personally see as greed driven) push towards Azure, it comes with all kinds of triggers and dangers, especially as they are ready to cater to as many people as possible, the no-trust rule is pretty much the only one that makes sense at present. I have written about the dangers more than enough. So when we are given “it’s reasonable to expect that future NSA 5G security recommendations will emphasise zero trust as a key component”, I believe that the approach has a lot of benefits, especially when such a setting can be added to anti viral and Google apps, it could increase safety to well over 34% overnight, and option never achieved before and we should all applaud such a benefit. There are a few thoughts on “NSA has characterised zero trust as “a security model, a set of system design principles, and a coordinated cybersecurity and system management strategy.” It’s a “data-center centric” approach to security, which assumes the worst — that an organisation is already breached or will be breached.” A choice that is logical and sets the cleaning directly at servers and ISP’s, and they are the backbone in some cases to close to 75% of all connections, so to set a barricade on those places makes sense, there is no debating, the choice of calling themselves No Such Agency wasn’t their best idea, but this is a game changer. 

I have been critical of the US government in all kinds of ways for years and on a few topics, yet I have to admit that this is an excellent approach to prevent things going from bad to worse, moreover, there is every chance that it will make things better for a lot of us overnight as such a system deploys, it will have a trickle down effect, making more and more systems secure. 

That one thing
Yup there is always one thing and we see the dangers when we consider Solarwinds and Microsoft (their mail server), the one part is when we rely on rollbacks and we see rollback after rollback creating a hole and optionally a backdoor, the most dangerous system is the one deemed to be safe, ask Microsoft, or their exchange server. When you believe all is safe, that is when the most damage can be made. And as the article looks at 4 parts, we see ‘Improved network resiliency and redundancy’, yes it makes sense, but rollback efforts are possibly out of that equation and when we get some people tinkering there, there is a chance that the solarwinds paradox returns, yet this time with a dangerous seal of approval by the No Such Agency, it will be the one part all criminal minds are hoping for, in this I personally hope they fail, but these buggers can be resilient, tenacious and creative, the triangle that even the Bermuda Triangle fears and that is saying something.

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The joke is on us (all)

Reuters gave light (again) to an article that I wrote earlier, 2 days ago (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/03/30/an-almost-funny-thing/) I wrote ‘An almost funny thing’, I got it from the BBC and I feel certain that some official people were already already on the ball, being a mere 2 years late. I reckon that some figured out that the growing cash flow these people ended up with will count against certain players, if not a lot more. Some people might have gotten additional considerations with “In the OSI model, we see layers 3-7 (layer 8 is the user). So as some have seen the issues from Cisco, Microsoft and optionally Zoom, we see a link of issues from layer 3 through to layer 7 ALL setting a dangerous stage. Individually there is no real blame and their lawyers will happily confirm that, but when we see security flaw upon security flaw, there is a larger stage of danger and we need to take notice” and that is the tip of the iceberg. So when Reuters gives us ‘Ransomware tops U.S. cyber priorities, Homeland secretary says’ this morning, we might not get the entire field in view and that is not on Reuters. And as Alejandro Mayorkas gives us “ransomware was “a particularly egregious type of malicious cyber activity” and listed it as the first of several top priorities that his department would tackle in the online sphere” we are not getting the entire story and we are happily giving the Department of Homeland Security that as they have other consideration as well. Yet I personally believe (speculatively) that some programmers working in specific places got handed libraries to make more, but also got a setting where they created software that opened a backdoor, so that all parties have an excuse and any investigation will end up going nowhere. You see there are plenty of real option givers that start as ‘Top 9 Python Frameworks For Game Development’, and that is where it starts. Consider the following scenario: as some developers become better they seemingly need shortcuts and would you believe it, some knows someone on the darkweb and they will hand the developer an option, two actually, one is free, the other one is $19.99, but is ‘presented’ as a lot more secure and it has documentation, that is all that they need and as the library is linked, the trap is set. The game maker does the right thing and enhances his program with either version (both have the flaw), and now, with a passive backdoor is passive (gaming is required), it passes through a whole range of systems and as the game is offered free with ‘in-app purchases’ the people behind the screens suddenly have 100K+ stations for all kinds of use. So whilst some are trivialising “No one really knows the size of the dark web, but most estimates put it at around 5% of the total internet. Again, not all the dark web is used for illicit purposes despite its ominous-sounding name”, we see, ohh not all is illicit, but consider that this software would be in the open internet if it was all on the up and up. The indie developer (many companies of one) has that ‘special feeling’ as he was introduced and others were not, but they all were and some were offered similar links in the end all linking to the same package, and that is the game, so when we we see greed driven idiots like Epic games (and a few others) setting the stage to avoid the Google and Apple store, we will see a much larger shift, one that gives free reign to criminal minded people to infect a massive amount of systems. So when you think that players like DHS is ready for these assaults, the people will soon learn the hard way that they were not and from there it will go from bad to worse.

And this is not about Epic games, even as some will herald “Cesium will be available for free for all creators on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. It’s an open-source plugin for the engine that unlocks global 3D data and geospatial technology. This means that games that use it will be able to discover in real time the location of a player in a given 3D space, using accurate real-world 3D content captured from cameras, sensors, drones, and smart machines” (source: venture beat), we think it is all for the good of us, and it is not, it is good for the pockets of Epic Games, but what happens when other elements get a hold of the saved data linked to geospatial technology? What happens, when foundational advantages that were (for the most) in the hands of players like CIA and GCHQ; what happens when cyber criminals get THAT level of precise data and THOSE cluster data groups? Did you think of that? So whilst some laugh away “games that use it will be able to discover in real time the location of a player in a given 3D space, using accurate real-world 3D content captured from cameras, sensors, drones, and smart machines”, the data will go a lot further, it will optionally end up not merely showing those systems, but the locations of all systems they link to as well. It is a hidden version of what I called the ‘Hop+1’ intrusion malware (thought up by yours truly) that made much of the CIA counter software close to useless, someone took that idea and made a corporate version with some version of a backdoor, in that stage the internet will end up being as dangerous as walking the dog (not the ‘M’ word), in a minefield. Letting the dog have a shit will be the last thing you did that day for a very long time to come.

As such, some might applaud the DHS (they actually did nothing wrong) as we see “a DHS official said the reference was to underground forums that help cybercriminals franchise out their malicious campaigns.” Yet under these situations, finding blame is close to impossible and the mistrusting developers end up helping cyber criminals in the process, and that is if there is ever any prosecutable connection found. 4 stages not directly linked will make prosecution close to impossible. So how is that for size? And whilst we take notice of “He said the agency would “quarterback” the U.S. government’s digital defences and serve as a “trusted interlocutor” between business executives and public servants” we see that their heart is in the right place, but the people they are hunting are heartless, devious, better funded and technologically more up to speed. It is a race many politically governmental intelligence organisations cannot win, not now, and optionally not ever. What a fine mess some corporations got us into.

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The better news

Ships run amok, churches are under attack and a funeral in Myanmar is more dangerous than the streets of Detroit, all events that people take notice of, I am not one of them, I saw more, I notice what was actually an important step. Arab News (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1832566/saudi-arabia) gives us ‘Houthi rejection of Saudi peace plan is based on ‘flawed notion’’, it is one view to have, I am not sure if I completely agree, but their view can be seen as such. So when we see ““But the Houthis must realise that the world is completely united (in its desire to) achieve peace in Yemen, and it is united behind the Saudi initiative,” said political analyst Mubarak Al-Ati.” We need to add the quote “The Houthi militias in Yemen and their Iranian sponsors have rejected the latest Saudi peace initiative designed to end the crisis in the country because they believe the international community is divided on the issue”, you see the setting can now be seen in a few ways, the first one comes from ‘Houthi militias in Yemen and their Iranian sponsors’, this is a first side, you see Iran is in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia and when peace talks start their campaign ends and they need to add another failure to their historical books and that is what they are unable to do, they are willing to sacrifice the ENTIRE Yemeni nation before that happens, and that is only one side and one part of the equation. There is another side in this (highly speculative) and that I seen on the American side who has been cancelling arms deals and are willing to see this war go on risking more and more Yemeni lives, they made what I would call a non written agreement with the UK, Germany and France to stop weapons to Saudi Arabia for now. That act alone is the direct cause for 3 years of prolongation in the Yemeni war, so when does it end? That is a stage that is in the hands of the media as it fans the flames of emotion, you see ABC gave is two weeks ago ‘Yemen conflict escalates as country speeds toward famine’, you see it is not the headline that matters, it is the fact that we have been seeing these headlines for well over 5 months, so were they misinforming us then, or are they misinforming us now? You tell me.

As we take notice of “the world is completely united to achieve peace in Yemen, and it is united behind the Saudi initiative”, we would agree, but it would be nice if the media picks this up more loudly and a lot more front page covering on the attempt, the Sydney Morning Herald has all kinds of news on Saudi Arabia, but not the peace attempt, just like they avoided reporting on more than one Houthi missile attack on Saudi civilians. Several media players have also been downplaying the Iranian involvement in all this, so as I see it no one really cares that much about Yemeni lives, least of all Save the Children Australia, who is eager to mention “A number of Australian companies are involved in exporting goods to countries waging war in Yemen”, yet in their setting, there is not one mention of Iran or the Houthi atrocities against the children, why is that?

So for the most I tend to agree with Mubarak Al-Ati, but in all this the media, the western media has another game play in mind and the death of all the children in Yemen is not a concern for them, if it was than there would have been a lot more camera’s on that place, but there is no value, there is nothing to get for them there, their digital needs and their needs from Google takes precedence, even as it makes little difference, the need for the media is becoming obsolete, not real investigative journalism, but they too will become a casualty of war, I wonder what the media endgame is.

So even as I like the setting of “Martin Griffiths, the UN’s envoy to Yemen, and Tim Lenderking, the US special envoy to the country, will probably travel to Muscat for talks with the Houthis to emphasise that “the time has come to end the suffering of the Yemeni people” and persuade them to support the peace process”, I wonder how much impact it will have. As I personally see it the Houthi’s connected themselves to Iran and they are now Iranian tools and a tool has no voice, Iran has more need of them, Saudi Arabia is still there and that vexes Iran. In this Tariq Al-Zahrani  sees it my way, it is seen in “The Houthis are following the instructions of Iran and are working on preserving Iranian interests in the region”, and where does that leave Martin Griffith and Tim Lenderking? Yup, you got it, out in the cold, a place where Richard Burton found more than these two people will. 

Yet is that all? No it is not!

Arab News makes a jump to the left with ““The Houthis are a political card the Democrats are using to put pressure on the Republicans,” he said. “They are trying to prove that the war in Yemen and (the decision by former President) Donald Trump’s administration to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran are both mistakes committed by the Republicans.”” It is a part I can agree with, but that would also imply that the media has a much larger role to play and misinformation is merely one side, the foundational flaw of catering to the need to Iran is a much larger flaw and it comes with disastrous consequences, a side where the democrats are willing to sacrifice Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Israel to make it happen and the best these three can hope for when it does go wrong is a mere ‘Oops!’ From the oval office, like that will be accepted at that point, and when any of it impacts the northern side of the Mediterranean, the US will have pissed off the Christian, Islamic and Jewish populations all at once, quite the achievement.

Oh, and when that happens, the media will not have to wait for some new Leveson inquiry, there is every chance that members from the media will be strung up to the nearest tree in a whole range of nations, it is a risk that comes with catering to ones stakeholders, stakeholders who will be in hiding and in denial all over the US at that point, all claiming miscommunication, what a world we live in. Yet, do not take my word on this, just watch the event unfold as Iran is catered to again and again, that is the play I personally see and perhaps I am all wrong, I will let you see the lack of covering on one side and the downplaying of events on the other. The better news is that it would solve the media issue quite nicely.

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And then there was delusion

Yup, we all see it, we all recognise it, yet who has ever called on it? I know I do, but the list is getting smaller and fading as the news is absent in too many cases. As Reuters gave us ‘Major arms sales flat in 2016-20 for first time in more than a decade’ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-arms-trade-sipri/major-arms-sales-flat-in-2016-20-for-first-time-in-more-than-a-decade-idUSKBN2B60QD), it is my believe that some might overlook “three of the world’s biggest exporters – increased deliveries, but falls in exports from Russian and China offset the rise”, which is interesting as those three nations include USA, France, Germany, all whilst Germany, UK and US have been in a spin to not deliver to Saudi Arabia, losing them billions in sales, sales that China is working hard to deliver on. In addition there are voices that give us that the US was in a WYSINWYG stage (What you see is not what you get) in the last year, and the buyers are taking notice. As the arms industry is trying to find appeal and aspiring new technologists for their arms industry, all whilst I had an Ice-coffee and a sandwich and I rolled out a new solution to sink the Iranian fleet, it’s all in a day’s contemplation. So whilst we are trying to make sense of “The United Arab Emirates, for example, recently signed an agreement with the United States to purchase 50 F-35 jets and up to 18 armed drones as part of a $23 billion package. Middle Eastern countries accounted for the biggest increase in arms imports, up 25% in 2016–20 from 2011–15. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest arms importer, increased its arms imports by 61% and Qatar by 361%”, we see the absence of the Saudi blockade of goods by the US Congress, something that China is soon to be rather happy about. And as we see the numbers ($23 billion) for the UAE alone, my reflection on the amount approaching $7 billion for Saudi Arabia does not seem that far fetched, does it?

So whilst we get to the end of the message handing us ““For many states in Asia and Oceania, a growing perception of China as a threat is the main driver for arms imports,” said Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher at SIPRI, said” the part avoided is that the non-sales by Germany, the UK and the US is driving their sales, and it does not stop there. Even as the filtered information bringers are giving us the golden newslines on Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, there is a larger stage to consider. It is my speculation (which means absent of factual data) that the arms driven pie slices will decrease as the slices for the US, Germany, UK and France will add up to 10%-19% less, whilst those shares will largely go to China. I believe that the increase in Russia and China will be roughly 30% and 70% of the total amount lost by other parties. There is every chance that players like Saudi Arabia will try to get a deal with both, but that remains speculation at present. This is information that is partially out in the open, as such I wonder what the drive of Reuters was, perhaps it was as simple as giving the limelight to SIPRI. The stage that the UK is mentioned to increase its nuclear platform is taken out of the equation, it is for the most a buy once, go nowhere solution that has 1-2 specific vendors, but that out in the open after the laughingly deceptive Iranian story (at https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/16/iran-reveals-underground-missile-city-as-regional-tensions-rise.html), yes they might have something, but apart from the concrete bunkers, the footage showing 100 missiles (twice), do they actually work or are they defence movie props? The dozens of launchers next to one another, are they real, or are they faulty equipment? Answers that cannot be given and the sources giving us answers might not be that trustworthy, but it happens at the same time that SIPRI is shouting that arms sales are down, it is one way to start a fire sale with increased prices. So consider the timeline and feel free to wonder whether I am the delusional one, or the other players. I know a few have seen me as the delusional party and I have no issue with that, I give you the links, and for the most I hand the information that you can decide what is real, but in all this, who gave us any indication of looking at the Iranian video handing out any expected clarity on how real it was and when does Iran give the goods on their military? Is anyone looking into that part?

Have a fun day!

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